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Ontario Announces Recipients of David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility

News Release

Ontario Announces Recipients of David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility

Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility

TORONTO - Today, three individuals and four organizations from across Ontario were recognized with the David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility. 

The award, named after Ontario's 28th Lieutenant Governor, recognizes people that champion accessibility, raise awareness about the benefits of inclusion, and foster positive change in their communities. The achievements recognized are helping to improve people with disabilities' experiences in Ontario.

The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, presented the awards with the Honourable David C. Onley and the Honourable Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility.

Individual recipients are:

  • Linda Niksic from Ottawa received the Employee Engagement Award influencing federal policy and legislation about the removal of common barriers for people with disabilities. 
  • Michael Mulligan from Mississauga received the Role Model Award for his visionary work in establishing Moving Forward, a rehabilitation facility designed to help people with disabilities retrain their neurological system and get back movement.
  • Dylan Itzikowitz from London received the Youth Leadership Award for his work to bring people together to establish The Forward Movement,which has inspired municipalities throughout Ontario to adopt a Dynamic Symbol of Access. 

Four organizations from across Ontario received a Champion Award for going beyond meeting requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act to remove barriers in workplaces and communities:  

  • The City of Pickering
  • The City of Vaughan
  • Heartwood House: Au coeur de la vie, Ottawa
  • Hospitality Workers Training Centre, Toronto

Quick Facts

  • The David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility was created in 2014 to honour the province’s first Lieutenant Governor with a physical disability.
  • Mr. Onley served as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and adopted accessibility as the overarching theme of his mandate.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“As I travel across our great province, I am heartened by the stories of those neighborhoods and communities that are committed to making their spaces accessible both physically and emotionally. I offer my sincere congratulations and thanks to this year’s recipients of the David C. Onley Award. You are making a difference and as a result many more Ontarians have the opportunity to realize their real potential. You set an example that brings out the best in all of us.”

The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell

Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

“It’s my pleasure to congratulate the worthy recipients of this year’s award. The leaders we’ve recognized today have worked tirelessly to improve opportunities for people with disabilities across the province. I applaud these dynamic accessibility ambassadors for their innovative programming and personal commitment.”

The Honourable David C. Onley

28th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario (2007-2014)

“As Minister for Seniors and Accessibility, I am proud to recognize this year’s recipients of the David C. Onley Award. They are helping to remove barriers for people with disabilities and to make meaningful, positive changes that can help enhance people’s lives. These ambassadors are going above and beyond to create a more accessible Ontario, and we applaud their important contributions.”

Raymond Cho

Minister for Seniors and Accessibility

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